Simcha Raphael

Lecturer in Psychology

Simcha Raphael, Ph.D. is Founding Director of the DA’AT Institute for Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training. He received his doctorate in Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and was ordained as a Rabbinic Pastor by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Originally from Montreal, Canada College and LaSalle University, works as a psychotherapist and spiritual director in Philadelphia and is a Fellow of the Rabbis Without Borders Network.

He has written extensively on death and afterlife and is author of the groundbreaking book Jewish Views of the Afterlife. He travels around the country teaching both adult education and professional development at synagogues, community centers and universities, and is known internationally for his work as a death awareness educator. His website is He is the father of two children, a 26 year old son who is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, IL, and a 17 year old daughter who is a Freshman at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, in Philadelphia. He is married to Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael, a singer-songwriter-artist visionary Rabbi.


  • Rabbinical Ordination from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi as Rabbinic Pastor
  • Ph.D., Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA
  • M.A., History and Philosophy of Religion /Jewish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, QC
  • B.A., (Honours, with distinction), History and Philosophy of Religion /Jewish Studies, Sir George Williams University, Montreal, QC


  • Founder and Director, DA’AT INSTITUTE – Death Awareness, Advocacy and Training
  • Author of
    1) Jewish Views of the Afterlife (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009)
    2) The Grief Journey and the Afterlife: Jewish Pastoral Care for Bereavement (Albion-Andalus, 2015)
    3) Living and Dying in Ancient Times: Death, Burial and Mourning in Biblical Tradition (Albion-Andalus, 2015)
  • Professor of Jewish Spirituality, D. Min. Program in Jewish Spirituality, Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, Indiana
  • Transpersonal Psychotherapist, Mount Airy Counseling Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Adjunct Faculty, Department of Religion, La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Recipient of Rabbi Chana Timoner Creative Liturgy Award , Association of Rabbis and Cantors (2011)
  • William Haber Award for Excellence in Programming for Benjamin Institute Program – “Death Awareness Week”Shastri (1988)
  • Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Fellow (1973-74)
  • Recipient of Boyd Sinyard Prize in Religion, Graduating Student w/ Highest Standing (1972)

Areas of Expertise/Interest

  • Transpersonal Psychology
  • Bereavement Counseling
  • Death awareness education
  • Jewish spirituality
  • Jewish approaches to death, dying and the afterlife.
Simcha Raphael head shot
Staff Information
Campus Address
Doering, 3rd Floor